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Hike Sycamore Canyon

by: Editor on 3/29/2017

 

Take advantage of the relatively cool summer temperatures and hike Sycamore Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the state’s Red Rock Country. It’s not as famous as Oak Creek Canyon, and that’s part of its charm. Just as gorgeous, it’s much less crowded and allows for a peaceful and leisurely (or challenging at a fast clip!) hike through over 55,000 acres. You’ll find yourself amidst stunning cliffs, incredible pinnacles and a rare desert riparian environment.

Man Hikes in Grand Canyon.

All the way from the forest-covered rim close to Williams to the desert canyons in Verde Valley, Sycamore is a veritable smorgasbord of delights for outdoor lovers. Mountain lions and black bears roam this area, so stay alert, and stick to the trails. Generally, Sycamore is a safe and family-friendly space if you follow park regulations.

A Night to Remember

When dark falls, you might spot the famous ring-tailed cat, which looks a bit like a raccoon. They’re the official state animal, as selected by a survey of Arizona school children. More common are hermit thrushes and wrens, and Taylor Cabin is a favorite area that hearkens back to the Wild West era. At Parsons Spring Trail, you’ll find a rare and productive habitat.

Head to the Sycamore Rim Trail in Kaibab National Forest to discover incredibly tall trees and private natural pools. It was the first area to be dubbed a Wilderness Area in the 1970s. With a lot of trails and attractions from horseback riding to photography, consider it your secret Sedona getaway.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

by: Editor on 3/14/2017

 

The annual, city-wide St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off this annual party, and since St. Paddy’s Day is on a Friday this year, you can bet it’ll be a party for the ages. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. with coffee and snacks before the floats head down the streets. A number of businesses and restaurants help make this tradition a success, and the grandstands along Jordan Road are packed with revelers.

The parade starts at Jordan Historical Park and winds down Jordan Road all the way to Mesquite Avenue. The after party goes until 3 p.m. with free events. Get your green beer, Irish grub, and games for the kids at this family-friendly party where wearing green is strongly encouraged.

Get Lucky in the Southwest

The Sedona Main Street Program also hosts a number of green-centric events, tapping into local businesses, restaurants and pubs to make downtown Sedona an Irishman’s (and woman’s) paradise. Hop from shop to shop to get special deals, once-a-year treats and discounts throughout the entire weekend.

Mooney’s Irish Pub in downtown is always outdoing themselves to give partiers the best, most authentic St. Patrick’s Day with live music, entertainment and special menu items. From lucky corned beef and cabbage to the perfect Guinness, it’s where you’ll want to end your night.

Hawaiian Grub in Sedona

by: Editor on 3/9/2017

 

Have you had your fill of Southwestern, Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine? It’s time to “taste out” some incredible tropical dishes! Aloha Hawaiian BBQ Restaurant serves authentic as well as innovative dishes that will feel like you were whisked to the tropics. It’s a local secret gem with no online presence, but with a strong cult following, and you’re sure to be the next to get addicted.

Locals swear by the coconut shrimp and chicken katsu that achieves the perfect blend of crunchiness and tenderness. However, others come solely for the Boba Thai tea complete with eccentric flavors and unique, colorful fruity toppings. Their sticky rice goes above and beyond, proving to be the ultimate side dish.

An 808 Special

The Golden Goose American Grill might not sound like it has a surplus of tropical treasures, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s the go-to spot when you can’t decide between classic Americana comfort food and something a little more exotic.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, try the yucca frites with chipotle dipping sauce, firecracker shrimp skewer wrapped in a jalapeño bacon slice and served with sour cream, or the pecan-crusted trout. The dessert coffees never disappoint, like the Thin Mint or Burnt Almond that’s half decadent, half coffee-lovers dream come true.

 

Sedona Yoga Festival

by: Editor on 3/5/2017

 

March 9 – 12 marks the annual Sedona Yoga Festival, a long weekend full of meditation, asanas, and enjoying the rich yogi community. Select key conferences and workshops, or maybe you’re in town with a full conference pass. This year, the event starts on a Thursday evening to purify, absorb, integrate and embody. Friday and Saturday offer sunrise yoga at 6 a.m. followed by guided meditations. Conference sessions and workshops start at 7:30 a.m. with each day dedicated to a different topic.

Classes are offered through 6 p.m. sessions, then it’s an evening of fun and camaraderie until 10 p.m. On Sunday, the wrap-up ceremony happens at 4 p.m. with a kirtan. In 2017, the SYF Gives Back: Yoga for PTSD training is offering specialized training for certified yoga instructors at 8 a.m. on Thursday with separate sessions throughout the weekend.

All are Welcome

Kids have their own customized activities including mandala making, games, acroyoga and traditional yoga. All kids activities align with the conference sessions, so parents are free to enjoy their yoga retreat with their little ones nearby. There are over 77 presenters and 200 workshops, so check out the schedule, and book your sessions now!

There’s also the Conscious Expo at the Heart Center Village featuring 33 vendors, sea classes, dharma talk stage events and more. In partnership with the Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association, come “hOMe” to Sedona with a weekend of openness and learning.

 

Discover the Verde Valley Wine Trail

by: Editor on 2/22/2017

 

Go where the trail leads! In gorgeous Sedona, the Verde Valley Wine Trail is nearby and attracts wine lovers from around the world. Enjoy local Arizona wines surrounded by the red rock scenery with seven wineries and eight tasting rooms at the ready. Each winery is one of a kind and offers unique wines at every stop. Near Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Cornville and of course Sedona, it’s a fun way to see more of the local region.

Cottonwood is the hub of the Wine Trail, nestled above the desert heat yet away from the chill of the high country. Buttes and mountains surround the town, it’s the perfect place to start your wine-fueled journey. So far a largely under-discovered mecca, you’ll quickly fall in love with this gem as you explore the fantastic wine producing areas.

Happy Trails

Sedona features rocky soil that makes the vines struggle, leading to vines that are more energetic and produce higher quality grapes. This means a more intense fruit with higher flavor concentration. In the past decade, wineries and vineyards have really sprung up in the area, and as pioneers, they’re setting the bar high.

Stop by each tasting room for samples. The seven wineries include Oak Creek Vineyards, Javelina Leap Vineyards, Alcantara Vineyards, Clear Creek Winery, Chateau Tumbleweed, D.A. Ranch and Page Springs Cellars. See how wines are crafted, and also discover some of the best hidden bistros in town.

 

French Restaurants for Valentine’s Day

by: Editor on 2/10/2017

 

Sedona is home to two seductive French restaurants, and reservations for Valentine’s Day can fill up quickly. If you’re looking to spark some romance during you stay, reserve a table at René at Tlaquepaque, an established venue for fine wines and French fare in an intimate environment. Open for lunch and dinner, and boasting an extensive wine menu, enjoy thinly sliced antelope with a trio of aioli or the sautéed brie garnished with fresh fruit to start.

Entrées include buffalo tenderloin with porcini butter, grilled to perfection. Center cut filet mignon pairs perfectly with the cabernet sauvignon. Roasted duck, seared scallops and tenderloin of antelope are also popular choices. For dessert, choose from artisanal cheese or a flambé of bananas foster and cherry jubilee.

Increase the Romance

There’s also the upscale, yet contemporary, American-French fusion destination of L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s where you’ll find fresh Alaskan halibut served with crab fried rice. Try the foie mousse with chocolate “bark” and cashews or the wagyu beef aged 30 days.

Dessert options include a raspberry cheesecake with dulce crisp, spiced pear frangipane and honey lavender galette. Many fall in love with the chamomile pavlova featuring meyer lemon, red berry and honeycomb.